According to Mazda President Hisakazu Imaki, "As soon as North American dealers see this, they ask for it." That, in reference to the new Mazda2, a freshly styled sub-compact that is set to go on sale in Europe this fall.

The only problem is that Mazda execs are still waffling on whether or not to throw their hat into the ring in N.A. to compete with the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris. Currently, Mazda's focus is set on the ever-expanding crossover segment, and Mazda's corporate cousin, Ford, is working on the release of a Mazda2-based vehicle for sale in the U.S.

But Mazda (and Ford's) delay is causing buyers to head on down to their local Honda dealer to place an order for a Fit. The only rub: they still can't keep enough in stock. Honda's production plans for the Japanese-manufactured Fit is only 54,000 units per year, and both Honda bigwigs and U.S.-based dealers admit that it isn't enough to keep up with demand. In 2006, 27,934 Fits were sold in the U.S., and in the first six months of this year, they've moved 23,769 units off the lot. In a fuel-efficiency crazed market, demand is off the charts, but until Mazda/Ford and Honda get its act together, buyers are laying down their cash for the Yaris, xB and Versa.

[Sources: Mazda2 – Automotive News (Sub. Req.); Fit – Automotive News (Sub. Req.)]


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